Shop the Block: For Valentine’s Day, Mignon chocolates are anything but boring

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As authentic as family-run businesses come, Mignon Chocolate was founded in 1910 and has been run by the Ter-Poghossians ever since.
For three generations, the family has manufactured its own fine chocolates, and original recipes are what make Mignon truly exceptional.
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Conduct your own taste test, starting with two selections from the M Collection: ginger sea salt chocolates (a dark-chocolate shell filled with luscious ginger dark chocolate ganache and topped with lime-infused sea salt) and lavender chocolates (also a ganache-infused dark-chocolate shell with the complex sweetness of woodsy lavender).
Mignon’s signature treat is its box of orange-peel strips, baked in heavy syrup and coated in dark chocolate. Another favorite is the saffron marzipan, which is created in-house with diced orange peels and infused with saffron. The family has been handmaking the latter since the 1930s.
In the Los Angeles area, Mignon also runs locations in Glendale and Van Nuys. An international outpost is located in Tehran.
6 E. Holly St., Pasadena. Open Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m.; closed Mon. (626) 796-7100, mignonchocolate.com
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Shop the block: Bella’s boutique chic on Honolulu Avenue in Montrose

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A familiar face on the Montrose shopping scene, Bella has been around for more than a decade, and the women’s boutique is now under new ownership.
Customize your wardrobe by pairing designer jeans, tops, dresses and coats with one-of-a-kind accessories, like jewelry by local artisans and handbags by small design houses.
On the comfy, casual front, look for P.J. Salvage loungewear and yoga apparel, including wraps, jackets and organic tops and bottoms.
The shop is also a great destination for gift-buying; Skip the wrapping paper and bundle it all together in a colorful, rugged Oilcloth tote or a Sea Bags carry-all made from recycled sails.
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Give a dog a bone birthday cake from Three Dog Bakery in Pasadena

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In an alleyway just off Colorado Boulevard, it’s not unusual to see people trailing their dogs on leashes as they zip in and out of this shop for canine baked goods.

When it comes to all-natural, oven-baked treats and fresh food for dogs, the international chain Three Dog Bakery is the bona fide (bone-ified?) deal, with a strong SoCal presence even beyond its Pasadena storefront. For your four-legged friend’s next special event, consider a fresh-made and customized doggie birthday cake.
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This East Pasadena pet boutique is more than garden-variety

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My Pet Garden does extremely well in balancing the practical with the whimsical.

Here, you’ll find safe, reliable essentials for your pet’s diet and grooming alongside the more indulgent stuff: rewarding toys and pet fashions — argyle-print tanks! — and even Bowser dog beer.
The pet shop in East Pasadena was created by animal expert Joel Tatum, a former zookeeper and producer of the DIY Network’s Pet Care television series.

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Walk it down to Burbank’s Doggie Avenue pet shop

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Over the hill in the nearby San Fernando Valley, Doggie Avenue pet boutique specializes in pampered princess — or princely — pups.

Inside the store, boldly hued walls and bright displays of merchandise make this one of the area’s most visually enticing pet boutiques.

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Sierra Madre’s The Shabby Dog pet boutique is decidedly chic


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The Shabby Dog is a Sierra Madre-based line of fashionable dog products that, betraying its charming name, is far more chic than shabby.
In addition to carrying some serious handcrafted sparkle from B.B. Simon, entrepreneur Sandy Duvall and her team of in-house designers have created a luxurious collection of dog apparel, collars, leads, beds, blankets, bowls, bags and carriers.

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Pussy & Pooch: A coveted patch of grass for pets in Downtown L.A.’s urban jungle

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At the counter, Janene Zakrajsek is preparing a platter of lamb with pureed pumpkin, to which she adds dehydrated chicken and baked cheese, followed by a few dollops of “secret sauce.”
For the second course, she whips up a presentation of salmon with egg, brown rice and kale.
When the dishes are ready, Zakrajsek delivers one plate at a time to her eager, in-house diner. 
It could be the scene in any downtown restaurant — except this one is just a bit more eye-catching because Zakrajsek’s customer is eating his meal on the ground, four paws planted on terra firma.
The hungry guest is her dog Jaxxson, a 3-year-old Jack Russell, who is lucky enough to belong to the co-founders of the modern pet boutique Pussy & Pooch.

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Shop the block: Zinnia, 1024 Mission St., South Pasadena

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Zinnia calls itself a Space for Contagious Creativity. Indeed, the spacious artists’ store is an explosion of color, with peculiar discoveries just waiting to be made.
Take classes in an array of obscure subjects, like crafting sock creatures, assembling paper dolls, painting in the Tibetan mandala style and soldering charms.
Don’t expect to find an exhaustive array of traditional art supplies in this boutique; It’s not intended to be a stock-all warehouse, but a place overflowing with one-of-a-kind baubles and curios that have been assembled from thrift stores and flea markets and yard sales. To be precise, expect the unexpected.
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Shop the block: L&G Fashion Boutique, 302 S. Myrtle Ave., Monrovia

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This boutique is brimming with you-can-do-no-wrong ensembles for summer and beyond.
Draw them in with turquoise and sea-foam delights that can be worn afternoon or, paired with heels, at night. Indeed, the array of colorful fabrics and accessories on hand may make you dizzy with happiness.
Look out for some killer handbags in the feminine-Western vein that are almost big enough to accomodate every item you’ll score when shopping here.
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Shop the block: Jenni B., 106 E. Lime Ave., Monrovia

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A shop that manages to be both extensive in its collections and still feel cozy, Jenni B. is an ideal boutique for scooping up special-occasion wear and investing in classic pieces upon which to build a wardrobe.
Look for Poetic License shoes — especially the divine, colorful summer strappies — and dresses and tanks from Kyumi and Voom by Joy Han. It feels a bit like Downtown L.A. fashion-district heaven, but this retail remix resides in the heart of Old Town Monrovia.
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